Poor balance equals poor timing equals poor stroke production.

One major problem that players of all abilities tend to experience is hitting shots off balance. Can a player improve balance?  And can improvement in balance improve a stroke?  The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘yes’.  Lets talk about what causes imbalances in the first place.

1) Reaching with the hands instead of moving the feet.
2) Poor strokes
3) Poor timing

Reaching for the ball can be helped by taking smaller steps, which will allow quicker movement.  Which allows the body to get into better hitting position.

Poor stroke technique is another element that usually leads to hitting shots off balance. Such as over-swinging, and racquet preparation, etc.  Many times poor swing patterns create situations where it becomes necessary to be in a relatively poor position just to hit the ball.  For example a player that opens up his forehand too early tends to push the ball, which will create imbalance.

Poor timing is when a player swings early or late.  The body tries to compensate by slowing down or speeding up the stroke, regardless of the balance of the player.  In many cases, this mistiming of the stroke changes the contact zone, moving it either more in front or behind the best hitting zone.  To adjust for this, the body will tend to lean back when late or lean forward when early.  In both instances, the player is going to swing balance.

Something to help balance is a simple drill of trying to hit a forehand or backhand on just one foot.  The goal is not to lose your balance.  This same drill can be done with volleys.

Improve your balance and your game will improve!

~ Tip by Dave McCain